Bill and I walked in the house at 8:45 the other morning after a couple of hours playing Pickleball. It’s only the middle of August, so we’re in the heart of monsoon season. The temperature had already reached 98, the humidity was in the high 40’s and we were completely sweat soaked. Mom greeted us with a wide-eyed stare as we trudged through the living room.
“Were you at the pool?” she asked, noting our saturated tee shirts.
“No, we were playing Pickleball,” I replied as I kept walking, hoping to beat Bill to the shower.
“Tell me again what Pickleball is,” she said, pulling me up short in the foyer. I heard Bill chuckle as he quickly passed me and made a beeline for the bathroom.
I turned and begrudgingly returned to the living room. “It’s sort of like tennis,” I explained for the 10th or 12th time, “but the court is smaller and you use a paddle instead of a racket, and a whiffle ball.”
“Like a ping pong ball?”
“No. The ball is about the same size as a tennis ball but it’s plastic and has holes in it.”
“But you use paddles.”
“So you have to hit the ball with two hands?” she asked as I turned to go.
“No, just one hand,” I said, pausing on my way out of the room. “Why would you think it took two hands?”
“Well a paddle is pretty big and heavy. It seems like a stupid thing to use to hit a waffle ball with.”
“Whiffle, not waffle. And besides, what would you use it for?”
“To get around a lake.”
“Mom, it isn’t that kind of paddle. It isn’t like an oar. It’s like a ping pong paddle on steroids,” I replied.
“Aren’t those bad for you?”
“Steroids? Sometimes I guess, but not for paddles,” I said over my shoulder as I walked away.
“Well you be careful when you’re playing so you don’t catch any of those steroid balls,” she shouted after me. “Just paddle them, don’t touch them.”
“Okay, Mom,” I yelled from halfway down the hall. “No ball touching.”
“What?” Bill called out from the shower. “Whose balls are you touching?”
“Pickle balls,” I answered as I poked my head into the bathroom. “Steroid laden pickle balls.”
“Don’t tell me,” he moaned, sticking his head back under the running water. “I don’t even want to know!”